Having a home inspection done before you commit to buying a house is a vital step in the home buying process. It can save you the headache of moving into a home that ends up being more trouble than it’s worth. And most homes that aren’t new will likely have a few things that require attention.
But what happens when the home inspection comes back showing a list of things, or maybe one major thing, that needs some attention — and you still really want to buy the house? Here’s how you can make these repair requests of the home seller before you make a commitment to buy.
Make Sure Your Requests Are Reasonable
Reasonable repair requests include anything to do with the home structure or proper operation of the home. The roof, electrical systems, drainage issues, plumbing problems, heating systems, or anything to do with mould are all critical issues. They need to be dealt with immediately and are certainly reasonable requests to make of the home seller.
If you simply don’t like the carpet in the bedroom or paint colour in the kitchen, that’s not the seller’s issue. If there are only a few small repairs (under $100 or so) to fix some loose cupboards or sagging gutters, these aren’t considered reasonable requests to ask a home seller, either. And you shouldn’t expect the seller to take care of these things.
Also, if there’s a shed or another structure in the yard that’s not structurally safe, you should hesitate to say anything. If you’re not in any sort of bidding war with anyone else, you may want to bring it up — but don’t be too firm in your request. If it’s not the main living quarters, it may be better to let it go.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
The home seller may need to make a quick sale or not be in the position to spend a lot of money on home repairs, so they may be hesitant to consider your requests. However, this doesn’t mean you should give up — it now puts you in the position to negotiate. You can either pick the most important things and leave the rest or ask for a reduction in the asking price of the home so you can afford to make the needed repairs.
Consider Walking Away
This is a tough one for many, especially if they really love the house (except for the drainage issues and mould growth). But if there are too many things to fix and the seller isn’t willing to budge on fixing any or lowering the price, you may need to start looking at other houses to buy instead.
Have a Great Real Estate Agent
When you have a qualified REALTOR, they should have plenty of experience advising you about what and how to ask for home inspection repair requests. If your REALTOR doesn’t feel comfortable doing this, or if you don’t even have a real estate agent on your side, please contact me! I want to help you find a home to move into that you’ll be delighted with.